More Than Ready clean-sweep in Breeders’ Cup

Pluck completed a clean-sweep of the Breeders’ Cup 2YO events on grass for Vinery shuttler More Than Ready at Churchill Downs on Saturday.  

Pluck (2c More Than Ready – Secret Heart by Fort Wood) came from last of the 12 starters to win the G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf from Soldat (War Front) and Willcox Inn (Harlan’s Holiday).  

He is trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher and was ridden by Garrett Gomez.  The same team had successfully combined with More Than Real (More Than Ready) in Friday’s G2 Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Pluck stumbled at the start but averted potential disaster when angling wide of Rough Sailing who fell at the first turn.  He made quick progress from the rear and surged past his rivals to score by a length.  “When he had to avoid the fallen horse, I was hoping he could regroup and at least hit the board,” Pletcher said.  “He really exploded down the lane.”

Pluck is a Team Valor homebred and is out of South African bred mare Secret Heart who was a Listed winner of the Prix du Cap at Kenilworth.  She has a yearling colt by Clairborne Farm sire Arch and a weanling filly by former Independent Stallions shuttler Hat Trick.

Pluck won his maiden on turf at Belmont Park in July and booked his place at Churchill Downs with a G3 victory in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine in September.

“We knew Pluck had an explosive turn of foot,” Pletcher added.  “To me, he’s been a colt that has been very talented but he’s still learning.  He was doing a lot of things on natural talent but he really polished off today.”

More Than Ready has sired 17 Kentucky bred juvenile winners to date this year.  Besides the Breeders’ Cup winners, he is also the sire of Major Gain (G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity) and Road Ready (LR Golden Gate Lost in the Fog Stakes).

More Than Ready heads the Vinery Australia roster at fee of $121,000 (inc gst).